Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Little Albert: The Search for Psychology's Lost Boy

The grainy, black-and-white footage, filmed in 1919 and 1920, documents what has become a classic psychology experiment, described again and again in articles and books. The idea is that the baby was conditioned to be afraid, instilled with a phobia of all things furry. The man in the tie is John Watson, the father of behaviorism, a foundational figure in psychology, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who rose from poverty to prominence only to watch his academic career cut short by scandal. When he’s remembered now, it’s often in connection with this experiment, his legacy forever entwined with the baby nicknamed Little Albert. The real identity of that baby has long intrigued students of psychology. Who was he? What happened to him? Did Watson really saddle the poor kid with a lifelong terror of animals? ... In 2009 the decades-old mystery of 'Little Albert' was finally solved. Or was it? more

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